Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Losing our supper club virginity to Chacho Rib Club

On Friday we made our way to Camden for our first ever supper club. We really didn’t know what to expect and had a few warm up beers in @theengineerpub beforehand which is a really friendly pub with a lovely beer garden! From the second we were greeted by Romi & Mark @chachoribclub we felt instantly welcome and knew this was going to be an enjoyable evening. We were joined by 9 other guests ranging in ages, professions and nationalities which meant that the conversation was extremely diverse and really interesting! Before the food started to flow and my god did it flow.. Mark & Romi explained that their supper club started as a family meal in Buenos Aires for their wedding where they cooked for the two families and were encouraged to take it back to the UK and treat Londoners to this feast of incredible Argentinian food. It is safe to say this is some of the most authentic Argentinian food we have tried!
Below is the menu as described by our lovely hosts with our comments.
YERBA MATE GIN & TONIC using our home-infused gin made with the favourite BA equivalent of a herbal tea
-       Very refreshing and easy to drink with a subtle hint of tea.
FERNET & GINGER ALE bitter-sweet, addictive
- This cocktail got the table talking – v.strange flavours but at end of the glass left you wanting more.


CHORI-SLIDERS mini-chorizo hotdogs w. rocket, sun-dried tomatoes and chimmichurri
-      If only all hotdogs were chorizo ones! All the ingredients worked so well together - the hotdog succulent and juicy, the peppery rocket and the fresh bread. We didn’t want the slider to finish!
 PROVOLETA tangy provolone cheese melted to an ooze on the grill w. fresh oregano
- This cheese dish was defiantly oozy and on a bed of mushrooms. Not to Sophs liking as she hates mushrooms and ‘stringy’ cheese but that meant more for me and it was wonderful!
HUMITA grated corn from the cob w. aji molido, onion & fresh basil
-      I’ve been lucky to try this sweet corn starter before in Gauchos as a side dish and it has got to be said this was better…a lot better!! It was seasoned to perfection and had the right amount of garlic, onion and basil! We couldn’t get enough of this dish and may have gone back for seconds..and thirds!
TIRA DE ASADO short cut beef ribs cooked the Buenos Aires way. W. chimmichurri and criolla salsas
- As you can see from the pic the ribs were cooked medium just how they should be! The amount of love and care that went into getting these ribs perfect was amazing as Romi & Mark advised us they had been in a water bath many hours before being marinated and cooked. The ribs were accompanied with 2 sauces which were delicious.
CHIMMI’ CHICKEN marinated in chilli, garlic, aji molido, lemon & fresh herbs
- The chicken was perfectly cooked and bursting with flavour.  The moist meat had been marinated for a considerable amount of time…and we could tell by the depth of flavour.  We had legs, wings and breast meat which was simply delicious
CHORIZO & MORCILLA traditional sausage and the juicier BA version of black pudding
- These were our favourite main with the homemade black pudding being out of this world! We had seconds and you will have to try it for yourself to experience the incredible flavours!
SALADS charred tomato, spring onion & ricotta, lime dressing AND grapefruit & rocket w. parmigiano, sundried tomatoes & citrus dressing
- They came out in two huge bowls which made their way up and down the table. Both were beautifully refreshing and the charred tomato salad worked so well with the meat.
PAPAS FRITAS PROVENZAL thick chips w. a whack of garlic & parsley to season
- The chips were quite possibly the best we have ever tasted; crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The seasoning of garlic and parsley made them so tasty that unlike English chips did not need to be covered in ketchup or mayo.

CHURROS W. DULCE DE LECHE & MALBEC GELATO freshly prepared churros w. vanilla caramel & red wine ice cream inspired from Mendoza
- The churros were crispy and not oily like the ones you find street vendors serving. The dulce de leche went so nicely with them but the show stopper and end to this incredible feast was the red wine ice cream – yes you read correctly red wine ice cream which paired with the churros was a taste sensation.

For 25 pounds you leave Romi & Marks house with a full belly and super content and in ore of their cooking. The standard was so high it would give Argentinian restaurants a run for their money! The evening was absolutely floorless – oh did we mention it is BYOB also? Well it is and if you ran out (like we did) they had some very well priced national drinks including a dulce de leche beer which we tried. Huge thanks to Romi & Mark for welcoming us into their house and treating us like friends. We thoroughly recommend this supper club even if like us you have never done them before.
For more info visit http://chachoribclub.wix.com/chacho

Monday, 12 May 2014

#BMChampionship Hawksmoor v Honest

We attended the first quarter finals of the BM Championship which was organised by Daniel @youngandfoodish at a really quirky pub by London Fields called @climpsonsarch We arrived 30 mins early and got to watch both competitors set up and get ready for this first head to head knock out burger off. There was bacon being cut, chicken skin being crisped up and saucepans of gravy being warmed up - it smelt bloody great!

We were the first to try @Hawksmoorlondon's 'The Clogger' burger - charcoal-grilled sausage patty with pulled pork, Ogleshield cheese, candied bacon and a side of sausage gravy for French dipping with crackling. With Hawksmoor being a really good steak restaurant we were hoping for a juicy beef burger but got sausage patties which upset us slightly. We were pretty underwhelmed by this dish and the crackling stole the show.  The patties didn't seem to hold any structure and would be much better as a breakfast burger.  For us this burger was too rich especially when eaten with the dipping sauce.

Up next was @Honestburgers - a blend of 35-day-aged rib and rump cap in a patty that would be all beef were it not for the crisp bacon running through it. Red Leicester cheese, crispy chicken skin, green sauce, pickles and baby spinach. Having been to both the Brixton and Camden honest burger we were expecting great things from Tom as we have never had a bad honest burger although on Monday the burgers were over seasoned with salt. The chicken skin may have been a contributing factor to the salt or the red Leicester cheese which is a pretty tasteless cheese.  We definitely are not converts to beef and bacon patties!!

Our votes were first up on the board and went to Honest burger. Despite the over seasoning the burgers were cooked well and a lot of love went into each burger. 

The overall winner was Hawksmoor by 3 votes....a very close first quarter final. Who will win the overall comp? Our money is on @bleeckerburger